DECA’s next step

Caitlin Bambery, section editor

For more than 19 years, Edina High School DECA has made it to International Career Development Conference (ICDC), and this year was no exception. This year, 55 team members qualified for the State competition, and 10 students qualified for ICDC. The DECA competition is separated into two types—role-plays and presentations— in which many subsect areas exist. The competition also requires a standardized test regardless of competing with role-plays or a presentation. 

At state, the score that determines if a team moves on to ICDC depends on their area of competition. Two ICDC qualifiers, sophomore Mina Bhargava and junior Jimmy Vu, participate in role-plays. Their scores depend on their role play and a standardized test of their area’s curriculum. Roleplay requires public speaking skills and quick thinking. In a roleplay, competitors could be presenting to a client, creating a campaign, initiating a business deal, and more. Bhargava, who competes in Retail Merchandising Series and placed second at state, is preparing for ICDC by practicing roleplaying with Mr. Gallagher, who is the DECA teacher at EHS. “He helps guide us through the process [of competing] and gives us feedback after practice role plays,” Bhargava said. In contrast, Vu, who competes in Principles of Finance and placed fourth at state, is preparing with curriculum-based practice tests. Vu was drawn into DECA through his interest in business and his love of competition. “I’ve had an interest in business throughout my life, along with finance and economics,” Vu said.

The other type of competition is presenting. Senior Lia Tabor began participating in DECA last year. At state this year, she placed first for Integrated Marketing Campaign Products and second for Food Marketing. Tabor and Gallagher heavily worked together on her presentation for state, and she routinely took practice tests. “[Gallagher] actually created my theme for the [IMCP] campaign. I always practice with him in the halls, and he’s always been a great confidant,” Tabor said.   

The competition experience, regardless of whether it’s at the regional, state, or ICDC level, depends on what competitors put into it. “There are a lot of students who just came to have fun, but there are also other students that were very competitive. Whatever your mindset is going in is what you get out of it,” Vu said. 

This piece was originally published in Zephyrus’ print edition on April 20.